James L. Murphy, Ph.D.
College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
With UI Since 1999
Lionel Hampton School of Music
Professor of Theory
Ph.D. Music Theory, Texas Tech University, 1980
M.M. Conducting & Voice, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1976
B.M. Theory/Composition & Church Music, 1973
James L. Murphy is a Professor of Music and Coordinator of Graduate Studies in music. He began his post-collegiate career by helping to open Walt Disney World in Florida (a comment on his age) as a professional entertainer, singing and dancing with the Mouse as a charter member of the Kids of the Kingdom. Sensing the need to grow up, he has tried his hand at public school teaching, church music, composition, music theatre, and professional choral conducting. He even survived a 3-year stint as music critic for a large newspaper. Heeding his real calling in life, however, he settled into a career of teaching in higher education. A former Director of the Lionel Hampton School of Music, he spent a total of 26 years as a music administrator in Texas, Kansas and Idaho.
In Texas, his choral groups won national and international recognition and toured extensively. While in Kansas, he was chair of the Kansas Music Teacher Licensure Redesign Committee. In Idaho, he has been chair of the Alliance for Arts Education, a consultant to the State Department of Education, and a member of the Moscow Art Commission. On a national level, he has served on the boards of several professional organizations, including the National Association of Schools of Music for which is a visiting evaluator. He is now happily teaching courses in music theory and film music, and pursuing his lifelong research interest in the criticism of music in film. It’s a career choice wherein he can continue to be just one of the kids.
Together with Karen, his first and only wife of 35 years, Jim is the parent of one daughter, Bethany.